Wednesday, November 12, 2014

WineStudio: Willamette Valley Chardonnays (Week I)

The Importance of Being a Willamette Valley Chardonnay
#WineStudio Tuesdays 6:00pm – 7:00pm PDT

When you think of the Willamette Valley (it's Willamette, dammit!), you probably think of world-class Pinot Noir, and you wouldn't be wrong. With 11,053 acres planted, fabulous Pinots come out every vintage, year after year. But the Valley has a lighter side as well, with over 3,400 acres of white grape varietals planted, 684 of which are Chardonnay. Yes, Chardonnay. The November WineStudio gets into the Chardonnay renaissance in Oregon, specifically the Willamette Valley, citing terroir, sustainability, biodynamics, philosophy, adventure and the future of Oregon Chardonnay. Week 1 presented us with two very different wines, one from Eyrie Vineyards, the other from Cooper Mountain.

Eyrie Vineyards 2012 Reserve Chardonnay

Eyrie Vineyards 2012 Reserve Chardonnay Dundee Hills: founded by David and Diana Lett in 1966, now helmed by Jason Lett, located in the Red Hills of Dundee; grapes dry-farmed on their own roots (planted 1965) without the use of insecticides, herbicides or systemic fungicides; aged in OR oak; beautiful golden yellow color; aromas of white flowers and tangerine pith; tart guava, apple, pear, nutty notes into a bright citrus finish; slightly acidic, but balanced overall; opened up as it warmed up, smoothing out the mouthfeel; 12% ABV; cork closure; 400 cases produced; SRP $50.

Cooper Mountain Vineyards 2012 Old Vines Chardonnay

Cooper Mountain Vineyards 2012 Old Vines Chardonnay: proximate to the Columbia Gorge and the Chehalem Mountains, originally planted in 1978; committed to sustainability: organic and biodynamic farming and winemaking and dry farming; native yeasts, aged sur lie for 7 months in 38% new French oak; no fining; apple and spice aromas; green apple, spice, and vanilla flavors; 13% ABV; cork closure; 200 cases produced; SRP $30.

PROTOCOL #WineStudio presents an online twitter-based educational program where we engage our brains and palates! It’s part instruction and tasting, with discussions on producers, varieties, tourism, terroir, regional culture, food matching and what all this means to us as imbibers.

Wines were provided for tasting purposes - all opinions are my own.

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